For nearly three decades, Tony Oliveira has worked as an air traffic controller for the Brazilian Air Force, directing pilots and their aircrafts in and out of a busy air space in many places inside Brazil. Carefully mapping out schedules and calculating backup plans and redirects, he honed his skills as a master guide, not knowing how one day they might be used for something bigger.
He especially didn’t know how those skills might combine with his affinity for writing. Today, Tony works on planning and managing education activities and processes linked to the education and training of military personnel at the Brazilian Air Force. And he’s writing … a lot.
“I spend my time preaching the Gospel in local churches and in the workplace, as well as a faculty member at Haggai Institute of Brazil,” Tony said. “But amidst challenges of being able to share my faith openly and personally, I have used literature as a tool to talk about the plan of salvation, publishing a book about how we can see and feel God’s grace in our daily lives.”
Tony has written more than 60 articles on spirituality and grace for many Christian magazines and websites for the last 10 years. He’s reached thousands of people with them. He knew he was making a difference, and was content in the way he was answering God’s call for his life. “My Haggai Leader Experience (HLE) in 2016 made me think deeper. It is what helped me to write more consistently and encouraged me to release my book last year,” Tony said. “I feel grateful to Haggai for challenging me to be a more efficient and committed servant to the Kingdom of God.”
Tony published “Drops of Grace” (Pingos da Graça in Portuguese) in 2023 as a mix of 50 of his articles that dive into the topic of God’s grace. He encourages readers to look for and enjoy God’s grace in every facet of their lives and offers guidance (his specialty) on how to do it. Much like the busy air traffic witnessed throughout his career, Tony insists God is at work all around us — from our workplaces to the streets amongst homeless men and women. What he hopes is that by teaching about where to look for God, he can spread hope to the people within his spheres of influence.
Those places include more than just Air Force units. He shares the Gospel in his community, at church, and through MISSÃO VIDA, a Christian organization that enables the social recovery of homeless people. It is currently operating in 10 Brazilian states and has already helped thousands of men return to their families, giving them dignity and hope.
Furthermore, as a teacher at the Haggai Institute of Brazil, he equips other Christian leaders to harness their own talents and infuse energy into their own outreach events — his own “drops of grace” affecting his community. He’s seen how they’ve rippled outward and started making an impact. He’s even earned a new nickname in the process, that of “local pastor,” a friend to everyone he meets.
On Tony’s schedule now is more writing — he is writing his second book, always desiring to share what he has learned from the Word with the people who read his work.
“The HLE has changed me profoundly by creating a paradigm shift in my life,” he said. “My vision of the Kingdom of God has been broadened, allowing me to see how much more I can do as a disciple of Jesus. It has awakened in me a greater desire to be a prepared leader and equip others in the same vision.”
With that clarity, he is certainly cleared for takeoff.
Written by Jennifer Colosimo